Woodstock, Vt., initiates strong winter maintenance program

Maintenance Case Studies
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After trying a test load of enhanced deicer from a local retailer, David Green, superintendent for the city of Woodstock, Vt., was sold on how much faster the product went to work in lower temperatures when compared to rock salt.

It didn’t take long for Green and Woodstock to become loyal to the deicing product.

“We use the product on everything,” Green said. “We have 65 paved lane-miles, and the enhanced deicer goes on all of them. The big thing for us was the temperature difference. The product worked better at lower temperatures, which is essential in this part of Vermont.”

Previously, Green said the city used regular rock salt treated with liquid calcium chloride to deice their winter roadways. “That process added quite a bit of time and a little bit of an expense, which we no longer incur now that we use the enhanced deicer,” he said.

Called ClearLane enhanced deicer and produced by Cargill Deicing Technology , the deicer is a salt product that’s different than regular rock salt because it contains a pre-wetting agent and coloring agent. These chemical additives help keep roads clear by providing a faster reaction time and longer residual effects, and they also protect distribution equipment from damp salt corrosion.

While enjoying the cost savings and functional benefits of the product, Green also noted that applying the product is a much quicker and safer process for operators.

“The safety for our drivers is a concern, and with the deicer, they don’t have to pretreat the truck,” he said. “They are able to just load and go with the product, whereas with the pretreated rock salt, they had to load the salt, then treat it with the calcium chloride while they were outside in icy conditions, which is very unsafe.”

Green additionally noticed residual benefits of the product after initial application. “Depending on the previous snowfall and ice level, if we got two light storms in a row, we sometimes didn’t need to treat as heavily because the deicer was still working,” he said.

On average, the city of Woodstock spreads about 1,000 tons of the deicer each season, and officials are happy with the results from an economic and roadway safety perspective.

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